New pot law means changes in law enforcement
On Thursday, December 6, the new law regarding recreational use of marijuana begins to take effect. The details can be found in our previous article at https://www.nearnorthnow.com/news/marijuana-now-what
What does this all mean for law enforcement?
Newaygo County Sheriff Bob Mendham was kind enough to field a few questions from N3 on the subject and herewith are his replies.
What has changed from the perspective of law enforcement?
The fact that adults 21 and older may have up to 2.5oz. of marijuana in their possession. Obviously this will be a huge change for law enforcement. We have many questions that have yet to be answered; Will folks think they can smoke in public? Will they sell their marijuana to others? Will people try to steal marijuana from others and will weapons or force be used? Will people break into homes if they know there is marijuana present?
What can people expect from the NCSD when it comes to marijuana use?
Our opinion and the directive we’ve given our deputies is that as long as folks are obeying the law we will take no action. Our job is to enforce the laws whether we agree with them or not. Our job is to serve and protect the citizens of Newaygo County, including those who are legally using marijuana.
What are situations that might require law enforcement intervention?
Law enforcement involvement will occur when and only when absolutely necessary. We anticipate trouble with citizens who possess more than legally allowed or use in public. Property crimes and driving violations that are related to marijuana use and possession. The use and possession of marijuana by minors and medical emergencies stemming from children who ingest edibles or adults that overindulge.
Our hope is that people obey the law and are cautious with the use, storage, and production of their marijuana. We will work with the public to properly enforce the new Recreational Marijuana Law and work to keep everyone safe. We ask that folks remember we are learning something new right along with them. The Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office is always available to answer any questions or concerns that folks may have.
Sheriff Bob Mendham